Dr. Constantine J. “Connie” Sakles, a retired professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and expert in psychodrama, died of kidney failure May 25 at St. Joseph from the University of Maryland. The Timonium resident was 87 years old.

“It is a pleasure to speak of my dear friend,” said Dr. Carlos A. Millan, who retired several years from the University of Maryland medical school where he had been a professor of psychiatry. “He was a very nice, likeable man who always had something good to say about what you were doing or had done, and he was always very supportive of the residents.”

Constantine John Sakles, son of John Sakles, restaurateur, and his wife, Evelyn Sakles, homemaker, was born and raised in Astoria, Queens, New York. After his father died when he was 3 years old, his mother married Frank Syrianos, a chef.

An accomplished student, Dr. Sakles, known as “Connie” and later “CJ,” attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan’s East Village on a full scholarship.

“One of the requirements of the school was that every student had to take an annual tuberculosis test at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York,” wrote a son, Christopher C. Sakles, of Timonium, in a biographical profile of his father. “When he was 13 and went for his annual checkup, they thought they saw a spot on his lungs and took him to a doctor. There was no tuberculosis, thank God, but when from this visit to the hospital, he met some doctors who pushed him to become a doctor.

In high school, Dr. Sakles earned a 98 on the Science Aptitude Test and New York State Regents Examination, a 100 on the Chemistry Potion, and a 98 on the Latin Exam.

After graduating from high school, he earned a full scholarship to attend the University of Rochester where he majored in liberal arts. After graduating from Rochester, he interviewed at Yale University.

“Usually it takes several months after the interview to find out if you’ve been accepted,” his son wrote, “but at the end of the interview he was immediately told he was accepted.”

Dr. Sakles attended Yale University Medical School on a full scholarship and graduated from medical school in 1959.

He came to Baltimore where he completed his medical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1967, after completing his residency, he began a residency in psychiatry at the University of Maryland Psychiatric Institute.

He then joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Medical School where he taught psychiatry and pharmacology and was considered an expert in the field of psychodrama.

“Dr. Sakles was a brilliant young man when I met him while teaching downtown at the University of Maryland Medical School. I am from Columbia and came here to Maryland to pursue my specialty which is psychiatry, and he became my supervisor and my guide when I was in training, and then we started a very long friendship,” recalls Dr Millan.

“We have worked together for almost 50 years. He was a remarkable man, much appreciated and an excellent teacher. I followed his career and he followed my career,” he said.

A highly sought after teacher, Dr. Sakles has received numerous awards for teaching excellence and has also been widely published.

After retiring in 1999, he worked for the Anne Arundel County Department of Corrections from 2005 to 2010 and for Alternate Tenens, filling in for doctors across the country who were on sabbaticals. His work with the organization took him to Alaska, Santa Rosa, California, Annapolis and Cambridge.

He also maintained a private practice and continued to see patients into his 80s.

After his first marriage to the former Bess Pappas ended in divorce in the 1960s, a mutual friend of him and his future wife, the former Evangeline “Van” Souris, who was the clinic’s director orientation of the child in what was then the old university. The hospital, now the University of Maryland Medical Center, thought they should meet because of their shared Greek heritage.

“Van wasn’t very interested, nor was Connie, but eventually they met,” his son wrote. “Neither were really impressed with the other and neither expressed any interest in seeing each other socially.”

The couple bumped into each other at social functions and “slowly fell in love as friends,” her son wrote. “They had known each other for years before dating. By then they had gotten to know each other and were starting to fall in love.

The morning sun

Daily

Get your morning news delivered to your email inbox. Get all the best news and sports from baltimoresun.com.

In 1970, the couple married in a ceremony at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of which they were both members.

“Connie was an extremely dignified professional person,” his wife said.

Dr. Sakles, who had previously lived in Riderwood before moving to Timonium, was an avid reader and traveler.

“My wife and I and Connie and his wife went together to my home country in South America and he had no trouble fitting in culturally because he was Greek,” Dr Millan said. “And he’s been talking and talking about this trip for years – he’s had such a great time.”

“He had varied reading tastes, and our house is filled with hundreds and hundreds of books,” said his wife, who added that his other interests include winemaking, photography and listening to music. classic.

The funeral was held Tuesday in the Chapel of the Holy Resurrection at Woodlawn Greek Orthodox Cemetery.

In addition to his wife of 52 years and son, Dr. Sakles is survived by another son, Dr. John C. Sakles of Tucson, Arizona; one daughter, Evangeline “Gigi” Sakles of Woodside, Queens, New York; one brother, John Sakles of New York; two sisters, Pauline Zavalas and Mary Syrianos, both of New York; and seven grandchildren.